I am the victim of domestic violence in Colorado I now live in another state and have be subpoenaed to come to Colorado to testify. I have severe anxiety and it’s a hardship to travel to Colorado. What can I do?
1 Answer from Attorneys
A subpoena cannot reach outside the borders of the state it issues from, with a few exceptions. Unless you were served with the subpoena while you were in Colorado, or one of the exceptions applies, the subpoena is not effective to require you to appear to testify.
Exceptions: If it is a civil case in which you are a plaintiff, or a defendant who participated in the case in any way while in Colorado, the court has continuing jurisdiction to subpoena you even if you leave the state. In rare cases, the attorney seeking a subpoena can go to the trouble of having the court in their case issue a request to the courts of another state where the witness resides, asking the courts of the second state to issue a subpoena of that state requiring the witness to go to the first state to testify. There are some other exceptions that would not apply to a domestic violence case.
With that said, however, as a citizen and as a victim of a person who should be brought to justice, you should consider whether just not going is the right thing to do. Most attorneys who have subpoenas issued to witnesses are willing to bend over backward to make it as easy and painless as possible for the witness to comply with the subpoena. I encourage you to call the attorney and talk to them about what your options are and how they might help you testify without it being too much trauma and hardship.